To Arbitrate Or Not

For any group of business people, business law considerations are relevant and critical to the decision making process.  So the question posed is whether to include arbitration provisions in contracts or to sign those that include them.

Simply put, arbitration is like having a private trial out of court.  There is no judge or jury, only an arbitrator that the parties, themselves, select.  The rules are much more relaxed as compared to a court, but there are drawbacks.  Oftentimes the costs can actually be more than going to court and the lack of rules can inhibit the efficient, impartial, and fair adjudication of claims that courts traditionally provide.  Additionally, arbitration may actually turn out to be slower than standard litigation.  However, each case is unique and must be analyzed in light of its own circumstances.

Therefore, before you can make an educated and informed decision about whether to sign a contract that requires arbitration of disputes or to include such a provision in a contract, you should discuss the benefits and drawbacks with qualified legal counsel.  The Florida Bar identifies the expertise and experience of attorneys in specific fields by recognizing them as being Board Certified.  As a Board Certified Business Litigation attorney I can tell you that if you want the best advice, go to a Board Certified attorney.

If you think you’ll save $500-$1,000 by doing this yourself, you’ll likely wind up spending $5,000-$10,000 to litigate or defend the enforceability and validity of the agreement containing the arbitration provision.  But, when you write that $10,000 check to your attorney, take satisfaction in the fact that you saved $500 or $1,000 by doing it yourself.  Then, go outside and kick yourself or bang your head against your car and remind yourself that your idea about saving money by removing your own appendix is probably not a good idea as well.

David Steinfeld, Esq. Florida Bar Board Certified Business Litigation Lawyer

Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent (Highest) Peer Review Rated

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